If you or a loved one are currently scheduled to have cataract surgery, you may have some questions about what to expect after the procedure. That’s a normal reaction before you have any surgical procedure, and it’s a good way to prepare.
Not sure where to start? Keep reading for an idea of what you can expect after having cataract surgery!
Right after cataract surgery
After having cataract surgery, you’ll need to stick around for a few minutes while any anesthesia works its way out of your system. After your doctor clears you, you can go home.
It’s important to know that you cannot drive yourself home after cataract surgery so make sure you have a friend or family member that can drive you home. You may be a little tired, groggy, or disoriented when you get home.
You’re going to want to take a nap but before you can do that, make sure you put on the eye shield that your surgeon gave you. The eye shield isn’t exactly pretty but it will protect your eye while you’re sleeping.
After you wake up, you may be able to look at your phone or watch TV for a short amount of time, but don’t overdo it. If your eyes feel like they are getting tired, you may want to rest instead.
Don’t forget to take the eye drops prescribed to you throughout the day. You may need to use them every hour or every other hour to control inflammation and to prevent infection.
The day after cataract surgery
On the day after you have cataract surgery, your vision may be blurry or uneven. This is normal as your vision needs time to adjust and heal.
Most cataract surgeons will ask you to come in for your first follow-up appointment the day after cataract surgery. It’s extremely important that you attend this appointment.
This allows your surgeon to check how your eye is starting to heal and if there are any complications or signs of infection. If there are any problems, it’s always better to catch them and treat them early on.
A few days after cataract surgery
By this point, your eyes should start feeling better. They may feel less irritated, itchy, and your vision may start to stabilize. Continue being careful with your eyes, especially around any bodies of water.
You should not take part in any strenuous activities, or do anything that requires bending at the waist as well. Don’t let the fact that you’re starting to feel more like your normal self hurt your recovery process.
It’s important to continue taking things easy and follow any instructions that your surgeon gave you as you continue recovering.
One week after cataract surgery
At the one week mark, you can ask your surgeon about no longer needing to wear your eye shield while sleeping. Make sure to confirm this with them before doing anything.
You can comfortably perform tasks like working on the computer, reading a book, or watching television at the one week mark after cataract surgery as well. At this point, you will need another follow-up appointment with your surgeon so they examine your eye and see how it’s continued to heal.
By now, any swelling will have started going down, making it easier to see how your eye has healed. Your vision may still be slightly blurry but it will be much clearer than it was right after you had cataract surgery and will only continue improving!
One month after cataract surgery
A month after cataract surgery, your vision should be much clearer than it was before, both with cataracts and after you had cataract surgery! Colors may look brighter, and the world may look sharper.
Cataract surgery, on average, can take about two months to fully recover from. At the two month mark, your vision will be at its best after cataract surgery.
Until reaching the two-month mark, your vision will continue improving. Unfortunately, you should avoid activities like swimming for four to eight weeks after cataract surgery, so plan accordingly.
What to do if you have cataracts in both eyes
For some patients, they find that they have cataracts in both eyes that need removal. For the best results, cataract surgeons will not usually remove both cataracts at the same time.
Instead, one cataract is removed, and then the second one is then removed about a month after. Removing cataracts in this way makes the most sense because it gives you time to adjust to your new vision.
If there is a problem with the first eye that has surgery, it’s much easier to treat it, rather than having to treat both eyes at the same time. It’s also much safer to operate on the eyes separately, since cataract removal can impact vision, at least temporarily.
During the recovery process after cataract surgery, it’s important to be very careful to not bump into anything or hit your head. This can impact how your eye recovers and how you see.
Life after cataract surgery recovery
Life with cataracts wasn’t much fun, but life after cataract surgery and recovery is much better! Thanks to the artificial lens (IOL) that replaces the natural lens during cataract surgery, patients can see clearly again.
Many patients with cataracts find that they are no longer able to take part in their favorite activities anymore, but cataract surgery provides visual freedom. It’s the freedom to go for a walk around the neighborhood with a friend or drive down to the store to run errands.
It gives you the independence that you may have lost due to cataracts and their slow takeover of your life. But after cataract surgery, you get your life back! What could be better than that?
Ready to take the plunge and get cataract surgery? Schedule your cataract screening at Takle Eye Group in Griffin, GA!
Why not make today the day you finally take your life back from the symptoms of cataracts?